It’s Good To Live In A Three-Newspaper Town (Bulldog Edition)

Thursday’s trifecta of local coverage in the Phoebe Prince suicide case

#1: Thursday Boston Herald headline:

Pol: No foul by school

No longer seeking review in bully case

Lede:

South Hadley state Rep. John Scibak yesterday backed off his demand for an independent review of the relentless bullying surrounding Phoebe Prince’s suicide, saying he’s now satisfied school officials acted properly and should not face criminal charges.

What followed was virtually a PR piece for the South Hadley education-industrial complex, with this curious endnote:

[School Superintendent Gus] Sayer also blasted the Herald’s recent coverage of the case, saying, “I just wonder why the Herald can’t be a little kinder in its treatment of the stories.”

Turns out that Herald story was excessively kind.

#2: Thursday New York Times (dead-tree edition) headline:

Court Documents Detail a Teenage Girl’s Final Days of Fear and Bullying

Times reporter Katie Zezima has been all over this story, perhaps the shape of things to come when the Times dumps its albatrossian Boston Globe subsidiary.

Regardless, from the fourth graf of the Times report:

[The documents] describe evidence suggesting that some teachers and administrators had known for weeks about the harassment but failed to stop it, a contention that school officials have disputed.

What the Times buried, the Globe headlined.

#3: Thursday Boston Globe headline:

Prince pleaded for help at school

But prosecutors say officials sent her back to class

Lede:

Phoebe Prince, desperate in the face of relentless bullying, turned to school administrators for help a week before she took her own life, prosecutors said yesterday, once pleading with them that she was “scared and wanted to go home’’ to avoid being beaten up by a vengeful classmate.

Prince was sent back to class, where she told a witness that school officials had no plans to intervene and that “she was still going to get beat up,’’ prosecutors said.

The stunning disclosure that Prince herself notified administrators at South Hadley High School about the bullying, an encounter previously unknown even to her family, was made public for the first time yesterday in court documents filed as three of her former schoolmates pleaded not guilty to charges that they tormented the 15-year-old freshman for months.

So, to summarize:

It’s good to live in a three-newspaper town.

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1 Response to It’s Good To Live In A Three-Newspaper Town (Bulldog Edition)

  1. Michael Pahre says:

    The Boston Herald was probably bending over backwards to portray the school administrators after they ran with what I argued appear to be factually incorrect stories last week.

    In short: the Herald may be open to defamation lawsuits from two members of the school faculty who did intervene, even though the Herald reported that nobody intervened.

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